Pitt-West Virginia Backyard Brawl redux not sounding likely

Jared Wickerham

Now that Pitt's series with Penn State has been extended to cover four years, might athletic director Steve Pederson be ready to set up some games with West Virginia to get the Backyard Brawl back up and running?

It doesn't sound likely.

It's quite clear that Pederson isn't making the West Virginia game a priority. Before it was announced Notre Dame would be playing several ACC teams each season, Pederson worked hard to make the game against the Irish an annual one. And there was always a desire to renew a series with Penn State. But according to a Post-Gazette report, a potential series with West Virginia doesn't seem like it will be happening anytime soon:

Pederson said he spoke with West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck briefly when it looked like the two teams might meet in the Pinstripe Bowl, but that's about it. It doesn't sound like there's much significant traction to get it restarted in the near future, although Pederson did say now that the Penn State series (his No. 1 scheduling goal) was squared away, Pitt can get moving on some other games. Pederson indicated that it would be unlikely that Pitt would play both West Virginia and Penn State in the same year.

It's a shame that the two schools can't play every season, but with room for only a few non-conference games each year, there's just not room for everyone - particularly because the Panthers would like to play a cupcake game or two as most schools do.

The Backyard Brawl could be reinstated at some point, but don't hold your breath.

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